Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013, Hell-o 2014!

This is my last blog post for 2013.
Not sure what direction it will take for 2014
but I look forward to what God
is going to do with it.
 


The camera's perspective of this last sunrise for 2013
didn't even begin to capture the reality and vibrance of the pink and purple sky.
Hoping that in 2014 the veil will fall from our eyes 
and that we choose to see things through the
reality of God's perspective.
 
 
 

May 2014 be a year where we make informed decisions
rather than blindly following the masses.
 
 
 
In 2014 may we live without fear;
knowing that when God is with us,
there is nothing to fear.
 
 
 
Praying that 2014 is the year where kindness
becomes "the norm"
rather than a "random act".
 
 
Look to and rely upon God in 2014
instead of on the government.
 
 
 
 
Rather than focusing our energy on judging others,
may 2014 be the year we focus on changing ourselves
(for the better!)
 
 
 

Every day of 2014 remember;
with God, NOTHING is impossible.
 
 
 
 
Allow any anger from 2013 dissipate
and allow 2014 to be a year full of happiness!
 
 
 

We all have something to offer one another.
Allow others to learn from you
while you learn from them.
 
 
 

In 2014 share what you have
and don't worry about what you don't have.
Whatever you give to others will be returned to you,
pressed down, shaken and overflowing!
 
 
 
 
We are each a beautiful creation;
a child of God.
Be kind.
Be encouraging.
 
 
 
God is good, kind and generous ~
Expect GREAT things!
 
 
 
 
Make it a great year!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Isn't That Somethin'?

 
I have known the Lord all of my life.
My earliest memories are from when I was about three years old
and all of the good memories are of the Lord.
 
For over forty years He has walked with me and talked with me.
He has taught me about Himself
and continually shows me myself.
 
Through my real and personal relationship
with Him,
He has taught me more than
all of the preachers, teachers, evangelists and theologians
ever could.
 
Why is this?
Because He deals with and interacts with me on a personal level.
He relates to me based upon my life experiences
and upon who I am.
 
He never changes,
but I do.
And as I change,
He reveals new aspects and facets of Himself.
 
No two relationships with Him look the same
because He has created us differently - individually.
 
We all learn, perceive and process differently
and because He knows us better than we know ourselves,
He interacts with us accordingly.
 
There are no molds to fill
or methods to follow.
Jesus is the clearest example of what relationship
with Him is.
 
Jesus said that the things He said and did
were the very same things He heard the Father
say and saw the Father do.
 
And He said that we could
(and should)
do likewise.
 
And everything that Jesus said and did
was Kind, Loving and Good
because God is
Kind, Loving and Good!
 
Isn't that somethin'?
 
 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Holidays & Traditions

It's safe to say that the
Holiday Season
is officially upon us.
 
Some enter into it after
Labor Day,
on
Halloween or Thanksgiving,
and some on
Black Friday.
 
And in some cultures,
NONE of these even exist.
 
Some cultures focus on
and celebrate holidays like
Hannukah,
Ramadan,
and
Kwanzaa.
 
Some celebrate their holiday
as a mandate from God
and call all others evil.
 
But holidays are really about
human traditions.
 
Each holiday marks something
relevant and significant
to its culture.
 
So,
we can either spend our days
being offended by those who
believe and celebrate
differently than we do,
OR
we can spend our days
being kind, encouraging and uplifting
to our fellow man.
 
Because,
like it or not,
the fact of the matter is,
we are ALL children of God.
 
He loves every single one of us
regardless of which holiday
we choose to celebrate.
 
And folks,
December 25
is not Jesus' birthday.
 
But if you choose to celebrate it as such,
that's okay.
And if not,
that's okay too!
 
 
So,
Everyone!!!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving

 
 
Today serves as a reminder
that thankfulness is
a state of mind
~a way of life.
 
And for those who are feeling
 stressed out
and pressured
because of what society has turned this day into,
I pray for Peace to cover you,
fill you,
and seep into your very being.
 
 
 
 


Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Else My Mom Taught Me

I couldn't let my mom's birthday go by
without writing something
in her honor.
 
 
As I have been thinking much about her lately
there are a couple of recurring things that come to mind.
 
One is that my mom was an extremely forgiving person.
She literally lived out,
"Forgive them seventy times seven,"
several times over.
 
She forgave many people of many things;
rudeness, meanness, pettiness, hurtfulness,
stupidity, cruelty, abuse, slander,
judgementalism...
the list goes on.
 
And she never seemed to hold a grudge.
 
Perhaps it was because in the back of her mind
she was well aware of the many things of which
God had forgiven her.
 
If she were here right now,
she would argue that she wasn't
as forigiving as I am making her out to be.
She would say that she didn't always "feel" forgiving.
But I know what I saw,
and what I saw, repeatedly, was
 a woman who forgave.
 
Another thing about her that keeps coming to my thoughts
is how generous she was.
 
My goodness that woman was a giver!
 
I don't think anything brought her more joy than
giving to others.
Gifts on birthdays, holidays, and just because days;
a loan because you needed it
and then "forgiving" the loan
 (you didn't have to pay it back);
donations for the needy, food for the poor;
compassion for those without compassion...
 
She gave whatever was needed whether she knew you or not.
 
And never was her generosity driven by selfishness.
She didn't give because she ever
expected anything in return.
She gave, simply, because she was
generous!

And always, in her heart,
was the desire to give more.
 
It's amazing that when I think about these things,
I see how easily she lived out these qualities
 which are the very nature
of God.
 
Her example of
unconditional Love
overwhelms me.
 
And even though my mom and I
were different in many ways,
I am thankful
that we are also alike
in so many ways.
 
 
She was, truly,
 an exceptional woman.
 
Happy Birthday mom!
I love you forever.
 


Friday, November 15, 2013

The Poor Dilemma

It is interesting that Jesus said
to take care of the poor,
to offer a drink to those who are thirsty,
to feed those who are hungry,
and to give your coat to someone who is cold
(your shirt too if needed).
 
 
Yet, these days,
when people are presented with the needs of others,
they pause,
as if they've been presented with some great dilemma
and respond with words like,
"Let me pray about it and ask God if I am supposed to help".
 
But it seems pretty simple;
if we have been made aware of a need,
then we're supposed to help.
Period.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Down to Basics

If we got down to the basics,
which Jesus said are
loving God and
loving others,
we would
~ Change the World.
 

 
Loving God, truly,
(with all of our soul, mind and strength)
brings about a NATURAL compulsion toward
grace, love, empathy and compassion;
which is loving others
(truly, as God does).
 
It becomes as natural as breathing.
 
If we lived out the Basics,
the world, 
 - humanity -
would be united
and, thus,
be known for its
Love.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Wasted Compassion

Compassion without action
is meaningless waste of emotion.
 

God has implanted within us
the feeling of compassion
so we would be moved into action.
 
If someone is sad, I give them a smile;
if lonely, a hug, text message, phone call, card or visit;
if cold, a coat;
if hungry, a meal;
if broke, a dollar (or more);
if hopeless, Hope...
 
 
If a feeling of compassion fills my heart
and I do nothing to act upon it,
that compassion is
 meaningless waste of emotion.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Waiting for Ice Cream

One day a small child said to his mother,
 “Mommy, I want some ice cream.”

“Alright, darling,” she replied.

Seeing that his mother was making no move toward getting his ice cream,
 he asked sweetly,
 “Mommy, may I please have some ice cream?”

“Yes, darling,” the mother smiled.

Seeing, still, that his mother made no move to attend to his ice cream,
 the child glared,
 “Mommy, when are you going to get me my ice cream?”

Turning to him, his mother replied,
 “There is no ice cream right now, darling.”

Angrily, the child whined,
“Then why did you say that I could have some?”

“Because, love, when there is some ice cream,
you shall have some.”
 

After lunch the following day the child asked,
“Mommy, may I please have some ice cream?”

“Yes my love,” the mother replied.

“Today?” the child asked.

“No,” the mother replied, “there is no ice cream today.”

Disappointed, the child asked,
 “Mommy, can we go and get some ice cream?”

“Not today,” the mother replied.

“When? When can we get some ice cream?” the child moaned.

“Soon, my love,” the mother crooned.

Resigned, the child sighed.

 

The child awoke the next day,
 sure that it must be the day for ice cream.

“Mommy!” he gushed,
 “Today must be the day we go and get ice cream!”

“No darling, not yet,” she soothed.

“But Mommy, why?!
Why can’t we get ice cream today?
I don’t understand!
 You’re just mean!”

“Patience, my darling.” 

Frustrated and angry, the child stormed off.
 He didn’t understand why his mother said that he could have ice cream
if she had no intention of giving him any. 

Why was she being so cruel?
 Didn’t she love him? 

One day after the child awoke from his afternoon nap
 his mother loaded him into the car and drove
to the fanciest ice cream parlor he had ever seen. 

Inside, in the middle of the room,
was a table decorated with confetti, streamers and balloons.

Above it hung a banner that said, “Happy Ice Cream Day!”

On the table was a dish
filled with his favorite flavor of ice cream,
 topped with all of his favorite toppings. 

He couldn’t believe his eyes.

He turned to his mother,
 “Oh thank you Mommy!
Thank you!
You’re the best!”

********

Now, it would have been much easier
for both the mother and her child if she had,
on the first day he had asked, 
 simply gone to the store and bought some ice cream.

However, knowing the heart of her child,
 long before he had even asked for ice cream,
 the mother had planned this day.

Though buying ice cream right away
 would have been simpler and instantly gratifying to her child,
the mother knew that doing so
would leave no lasting impression on her son.

But the memory of the surprise trip
 to the ice cream shop would remain with him forever.
 
******** 

The Lord gave me this analogy nearly two years ago,
in the midst of my own waiting.

My Ice Cream Day has yet to come,
 but when it does,
oh what a day it will be!!!
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Control

There is always one thing
that we have control over
and
the complete ability to change
~ourself.
 
 
If every person
would look inward
and
change one negative aspect
of their person
into something positive,
we would inadvertently change
the world.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Food for Thought


 
Wouldn't it be nice if
preachers who have now
gone on to heaven
would come back
and share with us
all the things they were
wrong about?

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Wonder...

 
Jesus said,
 "Give to others, and God will give to you.
 Indeed, you will receive a full measure,
 a generous helping,
 poured into your hands -
 all that you can hold.
The measure you use for others
 is the one that God will use for you."
 Luke 6:38
 
So why aren't we ALL pouring out generously?
 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Direct Affect


Our perspective of God has a direct affect
on our ability to trust Him.

When we realize and see that
 He is Good and
nothing but Goodness;
And that Jesus is
 the embodiment of perfect
and complete Love,
Our ability to
trust Him increases.

Truth & Faith.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Capable of Blessing?


The other day I did something I ever rarely do.
I emailed five friends 
and asked them for prayer 
concerning some pressing issues 
my family and I are facing.

It was revealed to me that out of the five, 
at least one had made some assumptions 
and passed judgment on us 
(hence my reluctance to 
ever ask for prayer to begin with).

Job called his friends who did this to him
 “miserable comforters”.

Thinking about this situation begs two questions.

First, is our perspective of God 
(despite all that Jesus has accomplished)
 still so warped
 that we see Him first or only as
 "The Punisher"?

And second, 
are we, as humans, 
truly incapable of simply 
asking God to
 bless our fellow man
 without first making assumptions 
or passing judgments?

I mean…seriously? 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Basics


One of the most basic
and fundamental
truths about God 
is that
He Is Good!~

Why are we not shouting it
from the roof tops?

Why isn't it
making the top list
of status posts
and
social media blurb?

I wonder...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Grace is Grace



Lately I have noticed a lot of mud slinging 
going on within “Christian” circles 
here in the U.S.

One group preaches “The Gospel of Grace” 
or Extreme or Radical Grace, 
while another screams that 
what they are teaching is of the devil.

The act of grace is defined as
 giving or extending something good to someone 
who is undeserving of anything good. 

It cannot be qualified, quantified or
 given out in degrees or measures.

Attempting to do so is mans way 
of justifying standing in judgment of another person.

Grace either is or it is not.

Jesus has extended Grace
 to every one of us by 
already forgiving us of every sin.

To accuse and slander others 
because their relationship with 
and understanding of God
 is different than yours or 
does not fit within your agenda
is error.

It was the religious leaders; 
the ones who claimed to know God the best; 
who accused Jesus;
 the One who truly knows God 
and is God;
 of being from the devil and
 demanded that He be crucified.

What irony.

Grace is Grace.

Either we give it or we don’t.





Tuesday, April 2, 2013

End of the Rope


Have you reached the end of your rope?

Are you tired, weary, can’t go on any longer?


Good!

That’s where Jesus is;
Waiting for you to cast your cares upon Him;
Willing to trade His burden for yours.

His burden is light.


What are you waiting for?

Friday, March 29, 2013

What is it About Him?



It is His kindness;
His completed work on the cross;
His victory over death by resurrection;
His great and undying Love
Which draw us unto Himself.

The beauty of who He is;
His mercy and
His grace
Are what compel us to repentance.

His tender touch, 
His loving gaze,
His infinite patience;
All of which He freely gives,
Are what motivate us to love Him back.

Jesus
Savior

He is risen.
Hallelujah!
He IS risen.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resurrection Freedom

Christ’s death was payment for our sins.

His resurrection IS our Freedom.

Dare to live an unhindered life ~
Walk in Freedom

It’s what He has always intended.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's So Good About Friday?



What’s so amazing about a man’s death on a cross?
Nothing really.
Hundreds died upon the Roman cross.
It was the execution method of the time.

It is amazing to me, however, that Jesus went to the cross willingly.
Some might say, “Big deal. People willingly die for others all of the time.”
And that is true. 
People do.

It has become trendy to say that one is willing to give their life for another.
And though we may admire the people who do, 
the impact and importance of their sacrifice is lost on many.

It is viewed as a noble or heroic act by most,
but the only people it truly impacts 
are those who were closest to them.

So the fact that Jesus willingly gave His life for us
 isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be.

The thing that makes Jesus’ death so amazing is that
while He hung upon that cross, 
there was that period of darkness, 
over all the earth, 
where the sins of every person who has ever drawn breath,
passed through Him.

He chose to take upon Himself
 the guilt, shame and wretchedness 
of every human being in existence,
since the beginning of time.

Jesus didn’t “just” die for our sins, 
but He became sin; 
He experienced and embodied all of our sins
 as if He were the one guilty of them all.

And He chose obedience to the Father in this
 so that we ARE all forgiven.

What is so amazing about Jesus’ death is that 
 ~ His death IS our forgiveness.

Because the spotless Lamb, 
the sinless One was slain, 
we are perfect and sinless in the sight of God.

The impact and importance of His death is that
He has reconciled every one of us to God.

We, who would continually crucify Him 
with our rotten behavior,
have been redeemed and made perfect
by the only One who is truly worthy of heaven.


This is what makes Jesus’ death so amazing.

This is the true meaning of Good Friday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Worry?



Through years of trial and a
continuous barrage of “one-thing-after-another”,
I have learned the importance
of living one-day-at-a-time.

While the world teaches that
we have to plan, fret and worry about the future,
I have learned the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching
on the contrary
(see Matthew 6).

Worrying or dwelling
on tomorrow doesn’t change it.
And imagining the worst
only adds unnecessary stress
to one’s life.

Very seldom does the worst we imagine
even come true;
and seldom are
the things we worry about the most
as important as we think they are.

Jesus tells us
that worry is
the opposite of faith.

You can disguise it however you want
by calling it a different name,
but worry, concern, etc.
cancels out faith
and robs us of the joy
of living in the beauty
of today.

The human capacity to
survive adversity
is an amazing gift from God.

When we understand the depth
of who God is,
we come to understand
how ridiculous worry really is.

Absolutely nothing
takes Him by surprise or
catches Him off guard.

“He’s got the whole world in His hands”;
we like to sing it,
but do we believe it?

Having lived through (and survived) much
(not as much as some, but more than others),
I have learned to trust every word of Jesus.

And when He says,
“Your heavenly Father knows all your needs
and He will give you all you need
from day to day
if you love Him and
make the Kingdom of God
your primary concern,”
I believe Him.

And though things may not
always look the way I had imagined,
I am thankful for the knowledge that
“Father knows best”,
that His plan is good and perfect,
and that the best IS yet to come.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Love Lesson


I am beyond tired of 
rude, thoughtless, self-centered people!
There.
 I said it.

When someone else’s ill behavior is 
directed toward me,
 I could honestly care less.
I have learned to 
choose not to allow it to affect me.
After all, 
people misjudge and misperceive 
me all of the time.

But when ill behavior is 
directed at my children (or husband), 
that’s a different story.
Then,
 the hairs bristle,
 muscles tense, 
veins on the neck bulge, 
claws come out…
Well, you get the picture.

I love my family
 implicitly and unconditionally.
I choose to overlook and/or deal with 
their short comings 
and to see
 their value and their worth. 
I know how 
wonderful and precious 
they are 
and I treasure each one of them.
And as their mom (and wife) 
I guess I figure
 everyone else should too.

This morning, 
as I was thinking about this, 
I wondered if,
when God’s children behave
 as rude, thoughtless, self-centered imps,
 He gets tired of it too.

Jesus has told us 
that the most important thing
 we have to do in life is to 
Love.

Love –  Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love – one another as we love ourselves.
Love – one another, just as our Father in heaven loves us.

He has told us that Love 
does not
 behave rudely 
and is not
 thoughtless or self-centered.
 And, that in Loving others,
 even better than we love ourselves, 
we have fulfilled His wishes.


And though I may be justified in 
my frustration with people’s ill behavior, 
I still live by the standard of Love.

And because of  Love;
 the Father’s unending, 
unconditional, 
all-consuming 
 Love 
which I have been saturated in;
 I  choose, 
once again,
 to let my frustration go,
 to not behave rudely back, 
and to walk and live out the 
Love 
which has been so graciously
 bestowed upon me…
...and you.

Peace.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peace & Rest


The more I get to know the Lord,
the more at peace I become.

As the world's turmoil increases,
so increases my peace of
mind, heart and soul.

As I have learned to take the Lord's yoke upon me,
the more at rest I am.

For His yoke is easy
and His burden is light.

Words spoken by Jesus,
 as promise,
 encouragement
and 
instruction.

And every word
is
True.

What a good 
and gracious
Father - 
to have provided
ease and rest.

He desires us,
not to labor,
but to
REST.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Law & Love

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said
that the most important commandment is
 to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul & mind?
Did you even know that He did, indeed, say this?


Matthew records it this way,
“… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
 and with all your soul
and with all your mind (intellect).
This is the great (most important, principal)
and first commandment.
And a second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.
These two commandments sum up and upon them
depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So it stands to reason that
 if we are focused on loving God,
 the rest will naturally fall into place.

God designed it so that by loving Him,
we fulfill the rest of the Law.
 He didn't intend for us to strive.
 Instead, He made it simple.

The writer of Romans 13 reminds us this way,
“Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor
 [it never hurts anybody].
 Therefore love meets all the requirements
and is the fulfilling of the Law.”

And 1 Corinthians 13 says,
  “Love suffers long and is kind;
love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own,
is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity,
but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
 hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.”

So it also stands to reason that
if we are busy judging others,
 holding grudges,
 behaving rudely toward others, etc.
 then we are not focused on loving God,
but rather,
we are focused upon ourselves and what we think.

I wish that the words of Jesus
had sunk deeper into me
 when my children were younger and
that I had never learned to be judgmental.

Now all I can do is pray that,
as young adults,
 my children will learn
 the Way of Love
 sooner than I did;
especially as they endure
 relationships with people which may prove
 to be painful.

I pray that they realize
 that even though sometimes it hurts,
the Way of Love truly is
the best Way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wanna Know a Secret?


The key to
K.I.S.S.
(keeping it simple sweetie)
can be summed up in one word:

~ L O V E


I don't have to understand everyone.
Nor is it my job to fix people.
Rather,
I have been commanded to
~ L O V E


And it is so
Liberating!




Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Are You Doing Today?


If I woke up today, 
then God has already given me 
the strength I need to get through the day. 


It is my choice, then,
 to look at it negatively or positively; 
to make it difficult or easy;
to grumble or to rejoice.

The day may not go
 exactly as I would like it to, 
but God is with me and 
has equipped me for whatever happens.

In a society that chooses 
to focus on the negative, 
I will focus on the positive.

 Rather than grumble 
about the things that I cannot change,
 I will, instead,
be a blessing to others and 
ask God to change what He will.

Jesus said to proclaim the good news. 
And the good news is that
 He loves us. 
HE has accomplished 
everything good for us.

And when we choose
 to cooperate with Him, 
we bring His kingdom to the earth.

Since I woke up today, 
I can rest assured that
 He has equipped me with 
strength and power 
to manifest 
a piece of heaven 
in my little spot on earth.

What are you doing today?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Feeling it in My Heart


The human capacity for inflicting pain 
upon one another never ceases to amaze me 
or to break my heart.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed” 
is a cliché that has been all too true in my life.

People come and people go; 
each one for a reason, each one for a season.

The world says to let them go and to not look back,
 to write them off or to bid them good riddance.

But God says to let go as they move on, 
and to allow them to keep a piece of my heart 
and if, one day, they bring it back, 
to welcome them with fervent love but if not,
 to always remember them with that same fervent love.

It doesn’t matter how they love me, 
but it is how I love them that matters.

For me to love any less 
than Jesus does is error, arrogance-
not true love at all.

I don’t love just a little bit. 
I love deeply, passionately and whole-heartedly. 
It’s the only way I know how to love.


So regardless of the pain 
or whether they love me back or not, 
each person I encounter, 
spend time with or invest in
 gets a piece of my heart. 
Whether they want it or not, 
whether they know it or not,
 it’s theirs.

Because this is what Jesus has done for all of us. 

And I don’t care what the world says, 
I want to be like Jesus.

And because He, who began this work in me,
 is faithful to complete it, 
my poor heart will endure.

I just wish it didn’t hurt so much sometimes.

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